ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction ERGP REPORT 2013 ON THE QUALITY OF SERVICE AND END-USER SATISFACTION

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1 ERGP REPORT 2013 ON THE QUALITY OF SERVICE AND END-USER SATISFACTION 1

2 Content 0. Executive summary 9 1. Background Objectives Methodology Current situation regarding quality of service and end-user satisfaction Measurement of quality of service concerning transit time Measurement of domestic transit time of end-to-end services for single piece priority mail and first class mail for the USP - EN Targets for priority single piece mail for EN Performance Time assessment since Force majeure Audit Current status of EN13850by country Measurement of cross-border mail flows Measurement of domestic transit time of end-to-end services for single piece non-priority mail and second class mail - EN 14508: Measurement of domestic transit time for parcels with track and trace system TR 15472: Other relevant indicators related to measurement of transit time Publication of information concerning quality of service Collection and delivery Requirements regardingthe frequency of collection and delivery relating to universal service Exceptions to the guaranteed frequency of collection and delivery Monitoring of compliance with the requirements Has the NRA in your country defined the list of settlements located in exceptional geographical conditions? 34 2

3 4.3. Access points Collection letterboxes Points of contact Measurement of consumer satisfaction Surveys regarding customers needs Current situation on the assessment of complaint handling procedures and consumer protection Legal framework forcomplaint handling Legal basis Scope and competence Powers of NRAs with regard to complaint procedures Information provisions and access to complaint handling procedures Standard EN Complaints handling principles Compensation schemes for individual customers Collection of data on complaints Conclusions on the current practices of the NRAs on the quality of service regulation and complaint handling procedures and consumer protection 65 3

4 Tables 1. Answers about a regulatory objective for routing time (transit time) in 31 European countries Page Answers of 31 European countries concerning measurements Answers of 31 European countries concerning regulatory objective Results (D+1) in 30 European countries ( ) and targets of Number of accepted force majeure days/incidents and reasons in Summarisingthe state of EN by country Country-specific information regarding the exception for the guaranteed frequency of collection Requirements/standards to ensure an adequate number of collection letterboxes Requirements/standards to ensure an adequate number of point of contacts/postal establishments Requirements/standards concerning the opening hours of the postal establishments The percentage of distribution of points of contact in each country NRA uses/monitors measurement of consumer satisfaction Surveys regarding customer needs Links to research carried out to measure customer needs NRA responsible for complaints Other entities than NRA dealing with complaints Type of other entities in charge of complaints of consumers Alternative (or out-of-court) dispute resolution (ADR) NRA acts as an ombudsman/mediator or solves the issue Procedures to resolve complaint for universal services, services outside universal services, USP and non USP

5 21. Power to enforce the decision for universal services, services outside universal services, USP and non USP Postal service providers obliged to publish information about procedures to complain, redress schemes and means of dispute resolution NRA checks how information is published by postal service providers NRA publishes information on procedures to complain, redress schemes and means of dispute resolution Publication of the number of complaints by postal service providers Publication of the number of complaints by NRAs Regulation of complaint handling procedures Implementation of standard EN Measurement according to standard EN Compensation schemes for individual customers Collection of data on complaints about cross-border services Data on complaints made by users to NRAs 63 5

6 Figures Page 1. Targets and results (D+1) in 30 European countries in Results (D+1) in 29 European countries ( ) Average results (D+1) in European countries ( ) Targets and results 2012 for EN (D+3) Number of collectionsper week relating to the universal service Number of deliveries per week relating to the universal service Reasons for exceptions regarding collection and delivery Percentage change in the number of collection letterboxes per country from 2008 till Percentage by type of points of contact Change in the number by type of points of contact from 2008 till Location of post agencies managed by third parties Channels available for users to complaint Compensation schemes for individual customers by type of service failure Mechanisms to make customers aware of compensation schemes Definition of complaint Collection of data on complaints by NRA Complaints received by the USP by category in Complaints received by the USP by category in

7 Terms and abbreviations ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction CEN Comité Européen de Normalisation / European Committee for Standardisation IPC International Post Corporation NRA National Regulatory Authority US Universal Service USP Universal Service Provider USO Universal Service Obligation 7

8 Country codes ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction AT Austria BE Belgium BG Bulgaria CH Switzerland CZ Czech Republic CY Cyprus DE Germany DK Denmark EE Estonia EL Greece ES Spain FI Finland FR France FYROM Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 1 HR Croatia HU Hungary IE Ireland IS Iceland IT Italy LT Lithuania LU Luxembourg LV Latvia MT Malta NL the Netherlands NO Norway PL Poland PT Portugal RO Romania RS - Serbia SE Sweden SI Slovenia SK Slovakia UK United Kingdom 1 FY is used in tables and figures for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 8

9 0. Executive summary ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction - Background Chapters 6 and 9 of the Postal Directive 97/67/EC, as amended by Directives 2002/39 and 2008/6 stipulate that the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) shall ensure compliance with the obligations arising from the Directive, in particular through the follow-up of quality of service, complaint handling and consumer protection. The Directive emphasises that postal reform has brought significant positive developments in the postal sector, along with increased quality and better customer focus. Increased competition will allow the service provided to ever more demanding users to be improved. Quality of service standards are set and published in relation to the universal service in order to guarantee a postal service of good quality. The ERGP will continuously monitor the effects of postal liberalisation through appropriate indicators and their development over time and the assessment of end-user complaint procedures to ensure that transparent, simple and inexpensive complaint procedures are available to users, particularly in cases involving loss, theft, damage or non-compliance with service quality standards and that consumers are protected according to the provisions of the Directive. - Objective The goal of this report is to provide the necessary data to monitor and follow-up the quality of service and the complaint handling and consumer protection within the context of the regulatory measures taken in those fields. - Current situation regarding the quality of service The quality of service and end-user satisfaction has been analysed with a view to the following 5 dimensions: 1 Measurement of the quality of service concerning transit time 2 Collection and delivery 3 Access points 4 Measurement of consumer satisfaction 5 Surveys regarding customers needs 1 Measurement of the quality of service concerning transit time There are different standards to measure the quality of service concerning transit time. The most common measurement of transit time (with a regulatory objective) is the one for priority mail, followed by measurements of non-priority and parcels. 9

10 The application of the standards for different products vary greatly across Europe but the standard most commonly used is EN ( Measurement of the transit time of end-to-end services for single piece priority mail and first class mail ). Because EN is mandatory, the indicators measured by it are an important source of information about the quality of the postal services. In some countries the USP provides both priority and non-priority mail. There are a few other countries that do not serve priority mail within the USO or who do not make a distinction between priority and non-priority or have different categories. Out of the 32 countries who answered the question concerning the implementation of standard EN only in Luxembourg and Serbia the standard is not yet implemented. Regarding the measurement of cross-border mail flows in Europe the UNEX design complies with CEN standard EN The source of information for NRAs is mostly IPC (19 countries), followed by USP (11 countries) and UPU (1 country). The quality performance is published in 17 countries (in 6 countries that include non-usp providers). NRAs monitor how this information is published in 15 countries for the USP and for non-usp in 5 countries. 2 Collection and delivery Regarding the frequency of collection and delivery to be made by the USP the responses received from Member States revealed that the Directive has been implemented by all and the rule is at least one collection/delivery for 5 days a week (a few countries have extended the obligations to 6 days per week). Exceptions have been granted in many countries regarding frequency of collection and mostly for delivery. Responses from the 32 countries revealed that exceptions are mainly related to geographical features involving a character of exceptionality, among other reasons. In the majority of cases the task of monitoring compliance with the requirements is assigned to the NRA. Nevertheless only a few NRAs have information about the percentage of population affected by the exceptions. 3 Access points The access point issue is very sensitive and this is shown by the fact that a vast majority of the countries consider it necessary to regulate the number of collection letterboxes and points of contact/postal establishments. There are diferent types of points of contact at the European level. The most common is the permanent post office managed by the USP with a full range of services, then the permanent post agency managed by a 3rd party, followed by mail man providing postal services and finally permanent post office with limited range of services and mobile post office. 10

11 4 Measurement of consumer satisfaction According to the responses 13 out of 30 NRAs (43%) use or monitor indicators of consumer satisfaction in their countries whilst 17 (57%) do not. Surveys of consumer satisfaction are the principal method to identify levels of consumer satisfaction and are collected most often annually or every two years. The number of satisfaction indicators varies between NRAs depending on the nature of the research being undertaken and the size of the postal market 5 Surveys regarding customers needs 12 (out of 31) NRAs have answered that they conduct market surveys, whereas 19 do not. Market surveys are often carried out annually or according to the need. The surveys are often conducted by an independent body. Different methods are used, such as telephone interviews, computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATIs), standardized questionnaires, face-to-face interviews. - Current situation regarding complaint handling and consumer protection The report examines five key issues in the field of complaint handling and consumer protection, namely: a) Legal framework regardingcomplaint handling b) Information provision on complaint handling procedures c) Standard EN complaint handling principles d) Compensation schemes for individual customers e) Collection of data of complaints 1 Legal framework regardingcomplaint handling Article 19 of the Postal Directive states that transparent, simple and inexpensive procedures should be made available by all postal service providers in order to deal with consumer complaints. The Directive also aims at increasing user-orientation and puts consumer issues in the very centre. In most Member States (26) customers have at least one possible contact point (other than the USP/postal operators) that they can address themselves to if they have a complaint about postal services. In most Member States, the NRA is one of these contact points. The other contact points are usually consumer boards or ombudsmen, but in some countries also other authorities are involved (e.g. Chamber of Labour, Ministry). These other contact points can be specialised on postal complaints or be general consumer protection organisations. In most countries (26) the NRA is generally responsible for dealing with complaints from users. The competence in handling the complaints, however, differs. In some countries this competence is restricted to services inside the universal service area that are provided by the USP or to services provided by the USP. 11

12 All of the NRAs that receive complaints can give information to the customers about their respective rights, postal regulation etc. Most of the NRAs (17 out of 26 responses) act as an ombudsman/mediator or solve the issue and have the power to enforce their decisions, although in some countries this is restricted to services inside the universal service area that are provided by the USP or to services provided by the USP. Most Member States (19 out of 31 responses) also have alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which customers can use before or instead of going to court. 2 Information provision on complaint handling procedures In most countries USPs are generally obliged to publish information about complaint handling procedures and redress schemes (27 and 23 responses respectively). In fewer cases the obligation covers also information on means of dispute resolution (14 countries). Only in 7 countries the USP is the only provider obliged to publish information about complaints procedures, so in most cases the obligation also applies to other postal operators. In almost all respondent countries (24 out of 29) NRAs check how the information is published by operators, and publish themselves information (23 out of 24) about complaints procedures, redress schemes and means of dispute resolution. Regarding the number of complaints received, in most countries (23 out of 32) postal services providers are obliged to publish it and NRAs publish figures in most countries (23 out of 30), though most of them only refer to the complaints received by the USP. 3 Standard EN complaint handling principles In a third of the countries USPs have implemented the CEN standard. However, concerning other postal service providers active in the universal service area the standard is implemented in 2 countries, while none of the other postal service providers have implemented it. 4 Compensation schemes for individual customers In most countries (19 out of 31) there is an obligation for a specific compensation scheme to be in place at least for the USP. The scope of this obligation varies between countries as to the type of postal services and the type of service failures to which it applies. 12

13 5 Collection of data of complaints Almost all NRAs collect data on complaints received by the USP on universal services (27 out of 31). Out of these, 18 indicated to collect data by category and 15 by service. Fewer NRAs collect data on complaints received by the USP about non-universal services (16 out of 31). The majority of NRAs do not collect data on complaints received by other postal service providers active in the universal area about universal services or non-universal services (16 and 18 out of 31, respectively). Also the majority of NRAs do not collect data on complaints received by other postal service providers (18 out of 31). The majority of the NRAs (16 out of 29) indicated that data on complaints about cross-border services are not collected. 13

14 1. Background ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction Chapter 6 of Postal Directive 97/67/EC, as amended by Directives 2002/39 and 2008/6, lays down that the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) shall ensure compliance with the obligations arising from the Directive, in particular through the follow-up of quality of service. The Directive emphasises that the postal reform brought along significant positive developments in the postal sector, along with increased quality and better user orientation. Increased competition will allow the service provided to ever more demanding users to be improved. Quality-of-service standards are established and published in relation to the universal service in order to guarantee a postal service of good quality. Quality standards have tofocus, in particular, on routing times and on the regularity and reliability of services. The European Commission established, by the decision of 10 August , the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (ERGP). The ERGP's tasks shall be: a) to advise and assist the Commission in consolidating the internal market for postal services; b) to advise and assist the Commission on any matter related to postal services within its competence; c) to advise and assist the Commission as to the development of the internal market for postal services and as to the consistent application in all Member States of the regulatory framework for postal services; d) to consult, in agreement with the Commission, extensively and at an early stage of its expert work with market participants, consumers and end-users in an open and transparent manner. The ERGP Plenary approved the ERGP work programme for This programme includes the elaboration of a report on QoS indicators including cross-border QoS results and complaints. The ERGP will continuously monitor the effects of postal liberalisation through appropriate indicators and their development over time and assessment of end-user complaints procedures to ensure that consumers are protected according to the provisions of the Directive. 2 OJ C 217, , p

15 2. Objectives ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction The report examines five key issues in the field of quality of service, namely: a) measurement of quality of service concerning transit time b) collection and delivery c) access points d) measurement of consumer satisfaction e) surveys regarding customers needs The report also examines five key issues in the field of complaint handling and consumer protection,namely: a) legal framework regarding complaint handling b) information provision on complaint handling procedures c) standard EN complainthandlingprinciples d) compensation schemes for individual customers e) collection of data of complaints The goals are to collect the necessary data to monitor quality of service and end-user satisfaction and the complaint handling and consumer protection within the context of the regulatory measures taken in those fields. The document aims at: a) identifying the quality of service indicators needed by the NRA to carry out the tasks assigned to them by the Postal Directive and following up the consumer protection measures taken; b) reporting on the core quality of service indicators to monitor market development, evaluating the results of regulatory measures and also the consumer protection measures taken especially in the field of complaint handling; c) reporting on the core indicators to monitor complaint handling and consumer protection; d) evaluatingthe results of regulatory measures taken to protect consumers especially in the field of complaint handling. The report looks at the current and past situation (starting point) of data collection and published indicators regarding quality of service. Then it analyses this data and identifies market trends regarding quality of service, e.g. results of mail transit time, quality of delivery, customer satisfaction and development of the postal network. The objective is to update this report on an annual basis. This ERGP report describes the current practices of NRAs concerning quality of service regulation, namely measurement indicators, use of European standards, assessment of the conformity of the measurements performed. The report looks at the current legal framework regarding complaint handling and consumer protection and also the current scope, competencies and powers of NRAs. Also the provision of information on complaint handling procedures and implementation of the complaint handling standard EN is analysed in detail. Moreover, the document makes reference to compensation schemes in place and collects data regarding complaints. In addition, this ERGP report describes the current practices of NRAs concerning complaint handling and consumer protection. 15

16 3. Methodology To obtain information regarding the quality of service and end-user satisfaction in the broad sense of the term including the complaint handling and consumer protection, a questionnaire has been issued to collect information on the current situation. Of the 34 ERGP members 32 NRAs have provided feedback: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, we would like to point out that the objective of the study is to have a picture of the current practices of NRAs regarding the quality of service, end-user satisfaction on the one hand and complaint handling and consumer protection on the other. The analysis is primarily based on the answers provided to the questionnaires (June 2013), which in general, reflect the legislation and practice in place at the end of

17 4. Current situation regarding quality of service and end-user satisfaction The quality of service and end-user satisfaction has been analysed with a view to the following 5 dimensions: 1 measurement of the quality of service concerning transit time 2 collection and delivery 3 access points 4 measurement of consumer satisfaction 5 surveys regarding customer needs Of course other elements could also be used to monitor quality of service, end-user satisfaction and consumer protection but in this report the scope has been limited to the dimensions above. We have also referred to the technical standards developed in the field of quality of service by CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) as laid downin Article 20 of the Directive. 4.1 Measurement of quality of service concerning transit time The legal ground for measuring quality of service concerning transit time was laid down in Directive 97/67/EC (Chapters 6 & 7 and Annex 2). Concerning quality, Article 16 of the Directive 97/67/EC says: Member States shall ensure that quality-of-service standards are set and published in relation to universal service in order to guarantee a postal service of good quality. Quality standards shall focus, in particular, on routing times and on the regularity and reliability of services.. Independent performance monitoring shall be carried out at least once a year by external bodies having no links with the universal service providers under standardized conditions to be specified in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 21 and shall be the subject of reports published at least once a year. 17

18 Based on the ERGP questionnaire, the table below gives details regarding the regulatory objective for routing time (transit time) in the ERGP countries. Table 1 - Answers about a regulatory objective for routing time (transit time) in 31 European countries Prioritymail Nonprioritymail Newspapers / periodicals Parcels Registered items Other AT Yes N/A No Yes Yes No BE Yes Yes No 3 Yes Yes No BG Yes Yes No Yes No No HR Yes Yes No No No No CY Yes N/A No No No No CZ Yes N/A No No No No DK Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No EE Yes No No No No No FI Yes Yes No No No No FR Yes Yes No 3 Yes Yes Yes DE Yes N/A No Yes No No EL Yes No No No No No HU Yes Yes No Yes No Yes IS IE Yes N/A No Yes Yes No IT Yes N/A No No No No LV Yes Yes No Yes Yes No LT Yes Yes No No Yes No LU Yes No No Yes Yes No MT Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes/No NL Yes N/A No No No No NO Yes Yes No Yes No No PL Yes Yes No Yes Yes No PT Yes Yes Yes Yes No No FY Yes No No No No No RO Yes No No No No No RS 4 / / / / / / SK Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes SI Yes Yes No Yes Yes No ES Yes 5 No Yes No No SE Yes Yes No No No No CH Yes Yes No Yes No No UK Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Total Yes The most common measurement of transit time (with a regulatory objective) is the one for priority mail, followed by measurements of transit time for parcels and non-priority mail. 3 Belgium and France have an objective for the public mission of press delivery. 4 In Serbia a new ordinance on quality standards for the provision of universal postal service is going to be prepared. 5 In Spain there is only one category of letter post without differentiation between priority and non-priority service. 18

19 The following standards were used for the measurements: Table 2 Answers of 31 European countries concerning measurements ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction Newspapers Priority mail Non-priority mail / periodicals AT EN N/A EN Parcels Registered items Other BE EN EN Partly TR Partly TR Incoming crossborderletter EN BG EN EN / No Standard / / HR EN EN CY EN N/A CZ EN N/A not postal service DK EN EN EN Other UPU S10-9 EE EN / / / / / FI EN EN / / / / On the basis of track Methodology that and trace may be audited FR EN EN / information / None, full competition DE EN N/A no standard used EL EN / / / / / EN HU EN EN Other IS IE EN N/A IT EN N/A / / / / regulatory LV EN regulatory provisions / regulatory provisions provisions / LT EN EN / / EN / LU N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A / MT EN EN 13850/ EN TR TR / NL EN N/A / / / / NO EN EN PL EN EN PT EN EN / / / / FY EN / / / / / RO EN / / / / / RS 6 / / / / / / Specific Specific Specific SK EN EN / methodology methodology methodology SI EN EN EN TR EN S EN / / / / / SE EN EN EN CH EN EN / Other UK EN EN EN Standard parcels subject to 1st & 2nd class letter targets Special delivery next day European international delivery (incoming only) D+3 6 See previous footnote 19

20 As to which of the following QoSdimensions of the universal service is a regulatory objective the NRAs answered as follows: Table 3 Answers of 31 European countries concerning regulatory objective Routing time (transit time) Loss or substantial delay (reliability) Queuing time in post offices AT Yes No No BE Yes No No BG Yes No No HR Yes No No CY Yes No No CZ Yes No No DK Yes No No EE Yes No No FI Yes No No FR Yes Yes No DE Yes No No EL Yes Yes No HU Yes Yes No IS IE Yes No No IT Yes No No LV Yes Yes Yes LT Yes No No LU Yes No No MT Yes Yes No NL Yes No No NO Yes Yes No PL Yes No No PT Yes Yes Yes FY Yes Yes No RO Yes No No RS Yes Yes No SK Yes No Yes SI Yes Yes No ES Yes No Yes SE Yes No No CH Yes Yes, in progress No UK Yes Yes No Total Yes

21 Measuring the transit time is the most common regulatory objective (in 32 countries). For loss or substantial delay there is a regulatory objective in 11 countries and for queuing time in post officesthere is a regulatory objectivein 4 countries. Concerning loss or substantial delay of priority mail there is a regulatory objective in 6 countries Measurement of domestic transit time of end-to-end services for single piece priority mail and first class mail for the USP - EN This standard is the only mandatory one in all EU Member States. The legal ground was laid down in Directive 97/67/EC (Chapters 6 & 7 and Annex 2). The Directive also designated CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) as an organisation responsible for drawing up technical standards applicable in the postal sector. Out of the 32 countries who answered the question concerning the implementation of standard EN 13850:2002+A1:2007 only in Luxembourg and Serbia the standard was not implemented Targets for priority single piece mail for EN In 2012 targets for measuring the transit time of end-to-end priority mail in the domestic postal market were established in 30 countries. However, there is a high heterogeneity of targets. Table 1 shows the relatively low targets in Bulgaria, Germany and Finland (80%) compared to the relatively high targets in Austria (95%), the Czech Republic (95%), Luxembourg (95%), the Netherlands (95%), Slovakia (96%), Slovenia (95%) and Switzerland (97%). The average value of targets (D+1) in all countries who answered the questionnaire was 89% in countries have a target of 90% or more. In Spain there is no D+1 target, as the target is established at D+3 because there is no priority class (target for D+3: 93%, Result (D+3): 96.38% (2012)) Performance 2012 The results for 2012 exceeded (or equalled) those in 2011 for 18 countries. Luxembourg 7 (98.43%) has the highest result in The highest improvement so far was measured in Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The average value of results (D+1) in all countries who answered the questionnaire was 88.39%, which is higher thanin the previous year (87.06%). 20 countries 8 achieved their targets. 8 countries 9 did not achieve their targets. Comparing to last year (2011), 16 countries improved the quality of time measurement (D+1) in 2012, 10 countries not improved their quality. 2 countries have the same quality of time measurement and in 2 countries the figures are not available. 7 Luxembourg does not monitor acccording to EN AT, BE, CY, DK, FR, DE, EL, HU, IT, LU, LV, LT, MT, NO, PT, SE, SK, SI, CH 9 BG, HR, CZ, EE, NL, PL, FY, UK 21

22 Figure 1 - Targets and results (D+1) in 30 European countries in 2012 ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction 100,00 90,00 80,00 70,00 60,00 50,00 40,00 AT BE BG HR CY CZ DE DK EE FI FR FYROM EL HU IS IE IT LV LT LU MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SK SI ES SE CH UK Targets Results It is also important to mention the efforts of non EU Member States (Norway, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Switzerland) where the measurement of the quality of transit time is in place because they are CEN Members. 22

23 Time assessment since 2008 Results in the period from 2008 until 2012 are taken from CERP 10 and ERGP 11 reports and targets of Table 4 - Results (D+1) in 31 European countries ( ) and targets of Target AT n.a % confidential 96.96% 96.02% 95.00% BE 93.80% 93.20% 93.30% 92% 93.90% 90.00% BG 68.80% 84.20% 83.60% 88.10% 48.90% 80.00% HR 72.10% 62.82% 78% 79.60% 78.00% 85.00% CY n.a % 89.40% 87.40% 90.90% 90.00% CZ 90.64% 92.09% 93.19% 92.15% 93.09% 95.00% DK 93.70% 95.70% 93.70% 94% 93.50% 93.00% EE 91.50% 93.80% 92.70% 87.20% 88.80% 90.00% FI n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a % 80.00% FR 83.90% 84.70% 83.40% 87.30% 87.90% 85.00% DE >95% 94% 92.80% 93.70% 92.30% 80.00% EL 79.90% 81.50% 87.70% 87.30% 91.70% 87.00% HU 92.69% 93.05% 93.68% 93% 93.00% 85.00% IS IE 79% 84% 85% 83% 94.00% IT n.a. n.a. n.a. 94% 92.90% 89.00% LV 96.10% n.a. 90% 86.90% 90.10% 90.00% LT 76.00% 77% 64.95% 81.26% 85.86% 85.00% LU 98.10% 97.93% 97.99% 97.38% 98.43% 95.00% MT 93.29% 95.13% 95.09% 96.73% 95.58% 94.00% NL n.a % 92.90% 96.10% 93.90% 95.00% NO 87.10% 88.30% 83.50% 85.30% 85.30% 85.00% PL 76.49% 52.70% 53.40% 63.40% 68.50% 82.00% PT 95.00% 95.20% 94.70% 94.70% 94.90% 94.50% FY n.a. n.a. n.a % 60.52% 85.00% RO 19.50% 46.20% 56.20% 40.60% 85.00% RS 44.14% 70.11% 70.49% 78.16% 79.93% SK 96.08% 96.10% 96.82% 96.28% 96.01% 96.00% SI 92.00% 93.90% 95.50% 96.20% 97.30% 95.00% SE 94.90% 95.70% 93.70% 94.50% 94.80% 85.00% CH 95.90% 97.70% 97.20% 97.50% 97.90% 97.00% UK 85.20% 87.90% 91.40% 92.70% 92.20% 93.00% 10 CERP documents published on the CERP website: CERP Quality of Service Report 2008, Report Application of EN 13850, Report Implementation of CEN Standards, Report Implementation of CEN Standards I 11 «Report on the quality of service and the end-user satisfaction» published on the ERGP website: 23

24 Figure 2 - Results (D+1) in 29 European countries ( ) 12 ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction 100,00% 90,00% 80,00% 70,00% 60,00% 50,00% 40,00% 30,00% 20,00% 10,00% AT BE BG HR CY CZ DK EE FR DE EL HU IE IT LV LT LU MT NL NO PL PT MK RO RS SK SI SE CH UK Trend upto 80% In the period from 2008 until 2012 results of (D+1) show constant improvement in most cases. In some countries one can notice an oscillation in results, while in just a few of them there is also a slight decline in quality of transit time. Average results of (D+1) in the period from 2006 until 2012 are shown in the figure below. The graph shows an improvement since Results are measured by 2006: data of 23 countries, 2007: data of 24 countries, 2008: data of 25 countries, 2009: data of 27 countries, 2010: data of 27 countries, 2011: data of 29 countries, 2012: data of 29 countries (Source: CERP and ERGP reports). 24

25 Figure 3 - Average results (D+1) in European countries ( ) 13 ERGP (13) 31 report on QoS and end-user satisfaction 89,00% 88,00% 87,11% 88.39% 87,00% 87,06% 85,21% 86,00% 85,52% 85,00% 84,00% 83,91% 83,00% 82,00% Positive trend since ,00% 80,00% 79,83% 79,00% Force majeure The new standard EN 13850:2012 deals with force majeure saying that force majeure is a common principle with different approaches depending on history, knowledge e.g. The force majeure definition is standard and is derived from the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts (2004): - Non-performance by a party is excused if that party proves that the non-performance was due to an impediment beyond its control and that it could not reasonably be expected to have taken the impediment into account at the time of the conclusion of the contract or to have avoided or overcome it or its consequences. - When the impediment is only temporary, the excuse shall have effect for such period as is reasonable having regard to the effect of the impediment on the performance of the contract. - The party who fails to perform must give notice to the other party of the impediment and its effect on its ability to perform. The impediment mentioned above may affect the ability of the operator to perform as well as the ability of the independent performance monitoring organisationto measure. As a result of the questionnaire in 2012, the range of accepted force majeure days was from 0 to 9 days (2011: 0 to 25 days). The following reasons were principally mentioned: extreme weather conditions, national strikes. 13 Arithmetical average (D+1) (not taken into account the volumes of letters) is measured by comparing 2006: data of 23 countries, 2007: data of 24 countries, 2008: data of 25 countries, 2009: data of 27 countries, 2010: data of 27 countries, 2011: data of 29 countries, 2012: data of 29 countries (Source: CERP and ERGP reports). 25

26 In the table below 4 countries stated the number of force majeure days and reasons for those events. Table 5 Number of accepted force majeure days/incidents and reasons in 2012 Country Numberofdays Reasons BE 6 days complete 2 days partly Extreme weather conditions and national strike EL 9 Extreme weather conditions and national strike PT 6 National strike UK 4802 incidents Power failure, road closure, adverse weather, security incidentond other emergency ( ) 14 It is important that NRAs have to keep a dialogue on force majeure events with the USP. All cases should be resolved immediately after the event in order not to delay the report at the end of the measurement period. This is especially advisable when internal preliminary reports are calculated for example on a monthly or quarterly basis Audit The EN 13850:2012 states that the measurement system shall be audited every three years. Exceptions to this rule are years during which the supplier changes, and/or changes to the methodology of the measurement occur. In these cases, the audit has to be done in the year following the year in which the changes took place. It may also be that the NRA requires additional audits for domestic measurement systems. In common agreement between the operator and the NRA, the audit or parts of the audit can be done by or assisted by the NRA. If this is the case, those parts of the study where the NRA itself has made a choice between options should be subject to audit by an additional external auditor independent of the NRA. In the questionnaire information about the audit cycle that is implemented in 2012, 2013 or 2014 was asked. As a result the majority of NRAs have information about the audit cycle and also about results of the audits Current status of EN by country Concerning the implementation of standard EN 13850:2002+A1:2007 only in Luxembourg and Serbia the standard is not implemented. 14 UK - As a result of regulatory changes in 2011, the USP is no longer required to apply to the NRA for dispensation due to force majeure incidents requiring adjustments to Quality of Service performance figures. The USP currently reports the number of individual delivery walk failures rather than days lost. If the USP fails to meet its Qof S targets, it can provide force majeure incident evidence to the NRA for its consideration to be taken into account in relation to possible enforcement action. 26

27 In the table below you will find the current status of EN in each country regarding: - implementation; - targets; - consequences; - national peculiarities; - geographical stratification. Table 6 - Summarising the state of EN by country Question Answer Count Country % 15 EN13850:2002+A1:2007 implemented? Yes 30 AT, BE, BG, HR, CY, CZ, DK, EE, FI, FR, DE, EL, HU, IE, IT, LV, LT, MT, NL, NO, PL, PT, FY, RO, SK, SI, ES, SE, CH, UK 94% No 2 LU, RS 6% Targets achieved in 2012? Yes 20 AT, BE, CY, DK, FR, DE, EL, FI, HU, IT, LU, LV, LT, MT, NO, PT, SE, SK, SI, CH 71% No 8 BG, HR, CZ, EE, PL, FY, NL, UK 29% Any consequences provided for in the legislation if target is not achieved? Yes 29 AT, BE, BG, HR, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, FI, FR, EL, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU 16, FY, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, RS, SK, SI, SE, ES, UK 94% No 2 LV, CH 6% National peculiarities 17 Yes 14 AT, BE, BG, HR, DK, DE, EL, FI, IE, IT, PT, SK, CH, UK No 15 CY, CZ, FR, HU, LV, LT, LU, MT, FY, NL, PL, RS, SE, SI, ES 48% 52% NRA received information about geographical stratification of the sample design for Yes 18 AT, BE, BG, HR, CZ, FR, EL, HU, IE, FY, MT, PL, PT, SK, SI, SE, ES, CH 58% No 13 CY, DK, IT, DE, FI, LV, LT, LU, NL, NO, RO, RS, UK 42% 15 % of total answers 16 In LU the ILR (NRA) is allowed to take the necessary corrective measures 17 Geographical circumstances (e.g. islands, mountains, etc.). 18 The question in the questionnaire was: Please indicate if you as NRA receive information concerning the geographical stratification of the sample design based on the real mail study data of the measurement for 2012? 27

28 In some countries the USP has not achieved the target in The following consequences were mentioned. For example: - In Bulgaria an act was passed at the end of Accordingly for 2012 an independent organization measured the end-to-end transit time of single domestic priority letters of USP. However, only 1% of total volume of letters are single domestic priority letters in Bulgaria In Cyprus the USP is under examination. - In the Czech Republic the NRA is still solving results from the audit. The USP is expected to be fined. - In Romania for 2012 the USP has been sanctioned with a legal warning. In the ERGP questionnaire it was asked who - concerning national legislation - is responsible for monitoring the USP s quality of service performance. In 21 countries this is the NRA or NRA commissioned consultant. The measurement of domestic transit time is implemented mostly by sending test letters (21 countries) or by sending test letters with RFID (Radio frequency identification) (13 countries) 20. To resume, based on the ERGP research concerning the implementation of the standard EN (measurement of priority single piece mail), which is the only mandatory standard and has been revised in 2012, the following conclusions can be made: 1. Countries are aware of thefact that the new EN standard was published at the end of 2012, replacing the older version. 2. The targets for the measurement of transit time (D+1) among the countries participating in the research are in a similar range: 80% - 97%. 3. The results of the measurement of transit time (D+1) in 2012 are better than in 2011 and 19 countries achieved their prescribed targets. 4. In the period from 2008 until 2012 results of the measurement of transit time (D+1) have been improving. 5. EN allows national peculiarities to be taken into account. Fourteen countries did so in Force majeure events occurred only in 4 countries in This is much less than in In 18 countries NRAs have some information about geographical stratification for Information about the audit cycle is available in 16 countries. The 2012/2013 audit results are available in 15 countries Measurement of cross-border mail flows In Europe the UNEX design 21 complies with the CEN standard EN 13850, which specifies the methodology for monitoring quality of service in the European Union. Compliance with this standard is mandatory for all Member States. - Detailed results of 2012 annual review and historic data can be found on IPC s website - Most NRAs have results about cross-border flows. 19 For more information: 20 Multiple choices possible 21 For more information: 28

29 - NRAs use the data from cross-border flows for a number of purposes, including reports, price cap systems which include a quality bonus, statistical purposes, publications, supervision of cross-border delivery, regulatory objectives relating to transit time for outbound intracommunity and for further information. - The source of information for NRAs is usually IPC (19 countries) 22, USP (11) or UPU (1) Measurement of domestic transit time of end-to-end services for single piece non-priority mail and second class mail - EN 14508:2007 Standard EN (measurement of domestic transit time of end-to-end services for single piece nonpriority mail and second class mail) is implemented in nine countries. However, based on results from the questionnaire, some countries have confirmed thatno non-priority mail service isprovided in their country or that they do not distinguish between priority and non-priority mail or that they do not have this qualification of mail at all. There is a range of targets from D+2 to D+5, but most common targets are set for D+3. In 2012 these targets varied between 93% and 98.5%. Eleven NRAs gave data for D+3 results. In general, the results for D+3 were good in 2012, with an average of 96.58%. Figure 4 - Targets and results(figures) 2012 for EN 14508(D+3) ,1 99,30 98,30 98,00 98,84 99,04 98,80 98, ,00 94, , BE BG HR DK HU PL PT RS SK CH UK Targets 2012 (D+3) Results Multiple choices possible 29

30 Measurement of the domestic transit time for parcels with the track and trace system TR 15472:2006 Technical report TR (measurement of the domestic transit time for parcels with the track and trace system) is fully or partly implemented in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Malta, Slovenia and Spain. Several countries also mentioned other measurements, not following the requirements of TR Therefore the measurement of domestic transit time for parcels is evaluated in some countries with electronic stamps or with technical tools. Also real data are evaluated afterwards by the operation documents or the measurement follows the requirements for EN and EN Other relevant indicators related to measurement of transit time There are a few other indicators (only for USP): - the measurement of single piece items of registered mail items, - the measurement of incoming cross-border mail letters, - the measurement of transit time for domestic newspaper and periodicals, - the measurement of domestic transit time for postal money orders Publication of information concerning quality of service Postal service providers in 17 countries are legally obliged to publish (for example on their websites) information about their performance on quality of service (USP: concerning transit time). In 6 countries there is a legal obligation for non-usp to publish information concerning transit time. Concerning transit time, NRAs monitor how the information is published by postal service providers in 15 countries for the USP, for non-usp in 5 countries. 30

31 4.2. Collection and delivery Concerning delivery, in Article 3 of the Directive 97/67/EC, as amended by Directive 2008/6/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 20 February 2008,it is said: Member States shall take steps to ensure that the universal service is guaranteed not less than five working days a week, save in circumstances or geographical conditions deemed exceptional, and that it includes as a minimum: - one clearance, - one delivery to the home or premises of every natural or legal person or, by way of derogation, under conditions at the discretion of the national regulatory authority, one delivery to appropriate installations. Any exception or derogation granted by a national regulatory authority in accordance with this paragraph must be communicated to the Commission and to all national regulatory authorities Requirements on the frequency of collection and delivery relating to the universal service Regarding the frequency of collections and delivery to be made by the universal service provider, the responses received from Member States have revealed that the Directive has been implemented by all and the rule is, with few exceptions, at least one collection/delivery for 5 days a week. Figure 5 Number of collectionsper week relating to the universal service correspondence parcels CNP* 1 collection per day/5 per week 1 collection per day/6 per week other/or not answer *catalogues, newspapers and periodicals 31

32 Figure 6 Number of deliveries per week relating to the universal service correspondence parcels CNP* 1 delivery per day/5 per week 1 delivery per day/6 per week other or not answer * catalogues, newspapers and periodicals The exceptions are those countriesin which the obligation to carry out the collection/delivery by the universal service provider was extended to 6 days a week (Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, France, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway and UK). A special case is represented by Hungary, where the universal service provider is obliged to provide at least 5 collections per day for five days a week and Bulgaria, where the universal service provider is obliged to ensure, in Sofia, the clearance for 6 days a week. Regarding the frequency of collecting parcels to be performed by the universal service provider, in most Member States it is a collection 5 days a week. In France, Germany, The Netherlands, Malta, Norway and the UK this obligation was extended to 6 days per week. For postal collection consisting of catalogues, periodicals and newspapers, this rule remains immutable (a collection day, 5 days per week) except in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands and Norway, where this obligation was extended to 6 days per week Exceptions to the guaranteed frequency of collection and delivery Exceptions have been granted in many countries regarding frequency of collection and delivery. Answers from the 32 respondents revealed that in some countries the frequency of collections and deliveries in certain areas is affected by geographical features involving a character of exceptionality. Countries that were allowed to derogate from the frequency of collection and/ or collection required by the Directive are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. 32

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